One for the Road: An SUV suitable for city and countryside

Anna and Charlie Harrisson have two young boys, but with £16,000, want a compact Sports Utility Vehicle with room for two child seats that can thrive in London and the countryside.

A Car for the Head

A compact 4x4? Well that could be the Ford Kuga and the great thing for Anna and Charlie is that while it doesn't feel like a great big off-roader, it comes with all the four-wheel-drive ability that they will need when they go to the countryside in deep winter. However, I would also like them to realise that it is possible to transform the behaviour of a "normal" car with winter tyres. For a few hundred pounds a useful estate car will have grippy rubber during the coldest snaps. Potentially instead of a Ford Kuga, a cheaper and more frugal Ford Focus estate car with winter tyres may be one answer. If they stick with the Kuga, £15,000 buys a 2009 2.0TD Titanium with 24,000 miles, lots of equipment and a heated windscreen.

A Car for the Heart

If Anna and Charlie want a 4x4 with a bit more character then they could go for the Skoda Yeti (below). Funky name, funky looks. To succeed, though, it needs to offer good old-fashioned practicality to a young family. Well, there is plenty of room for five adults and it has a great rear-seating system which folds, flips and removes if required. Interestingly, the Roomster version of this model, which has a higher roofline and does without four-wheel drive, is slightly more spacious. So potentially Anna and Charlie could go for the Roomster then just add winter tyres. The choice is theirs: £15,000 buys a 2011 Yeti 2.0 TDi CR S; alternatively, a more economical 2011 Roomster 1.6TDI with half the mileage (6,000) will cost the same. James Ruppert

Looking to buy?

Email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.

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